Here's the warning and relevant changes related to switching to 4.0: "SpatiaLite Version 4.0.0 introduces several relevant changes; many of these may potentially pose severe cross-version compatibility issues. Accordingly to the above premise, a good comprehension of any related detail will surely allow you to successfully master and resolve any transition issue." A reminder, "SpatiaLite is an open source library intended to extend the SQLite core to support fully fledged Spatial SQL capabilities. SQLite is intrinsically simple and lightweight [...]"
Here's the recent FOSS4G geonews.
In open source software updates:
In the everything else category:
Via James I learned that earlier this month was released Natural Earth v2.0.0. A quick reminder: "Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software." We mentioned this dataset in the past quite a few times.
From the 2.0.0 release notes: "The 2.0.0 release focuses on 7 major areas and is available to download today à la carte at NaturalEarthData. ZIP combo downloads of all vectors: SHP (279 mb) or SQLite (222 mb) or QuickStart kit for ArcMap and QGIS (165 mb). [What's new:]
The major features of 6.2:
Here's the latest batch-mode edition of the geonews.
From the open source front:
From the Esri front:
From the Google front:
In the miscellaneous category:
And finally, at the suggestion of a Slashgeo user which made a donation, we added a 'Paypal button' to ease the process of making donation to Slashgeo.
We just released Geopaparazzi 3.3.0 in the market. There are a couple of small enhancements and a feature we think most people will like.
The most important feature for this release is for sure the sketch pad, that allows user to draw their notes out in the field.
Check out the release post for more info.
This was meant to happen, via the LinkedIn OpenStreetMap group I learned about the OpenTraffic project.
Here's their introduction: "OpenTraffic is a open data project initiated by doroga.tv to create open traffic jam map of the world. We use OpenStreetMap vector graph and data feeds from various fleet management systems to calculate the traffic. Each contributor and every developer may use the traffic APIs for mapping and navigation projects and researches. [...]
If you'd like to start OpenTraffic project in your area, you need to do the following steps:
Here's the recent open source geonews.
I'm glad to announce that Slashgeo is a proud media partner of the 8th International gvSIG Conference, to be held November 28-30, 2012, in Valencia, Spain. We of course frequently mention the open source gvSIG desktop GIS software. gvSIG has its Wikipedia page. One of its strengths is certainly its very active developers community.
From the objective of the 8th International gvSIG conference, with its headline 'Making the Future: Technology, Solidarity and Business': "We have long been hearing and even worse, suffering the consequences of those who really know and are surely making fun of us especially if we tell them that we believe that solidarity should be a core value that guides both scientific and economical development.
Those who have been following us for some time know that in gvSIG we have always been talking about a new model of development and production that would allow us to produce more, better and more fairly; a model where solidarity would substitute rivalry. To construct this new model there has to be new ideas, new schemes, otherwise, if a new model is built based on old schemes this would then lead to utmost failure.
Now more than ever, it is time to consider this new model. Not only by using free software but also by adopting values of collaboration and shared knowledge, replacing individualism with solidarity; this is what guides the development of science and economy, so that the business world follows ethics and responds to different values other than the current ones."
OpenGeo has recently released OpenGeo Suite 3.0. Slashgeo sat down with Rolando Peñate, the Product Manager for the OpenGeo Suite, to discuss this new release. Here are the results of our interview:
Slashgeo: What are some of the most exciting features available in the OpenGeo Suite 3.0 release?
Rolando: We’re most excited about bringing spatial processing to the OpenGeo Suite. With processing, our customers can work with larger data and perform just-in-time analysis with fewer bottlenecks than with a desktop-based GIS workflow. We believe that exposing processing on the web will provide IT professionals the flexibility to solve unique problems in innovative ways—either by directly invoking existing WPS processes, writing new processes in common scripting languages, using rendering transformations to style data, or even in ways we haven’t yet considered.
One place we’ve implemented this is a prototype for the USGS National Hydrography Dataset that allows editing of data while validating against strict topology rules across multiple layers. Their current tools require up to six hours for a single edit, but our prototype drastically reduced the effort—down to about one minute—by using a web-based editor.
We are also working to make processing operations easier in browser-based visualizations. Rendering transformations enable just-in-time use of any WPS process as part of a layer’s style. The process is applied on-the-fly to transform the area being viewed, rather than the full data set (as it would with desktop based GIS), and provide immediate visual feedback. For example, NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program leverages this feature for fast, dynamic presentation of interpolated surfaces derived from environmental measurements collected at schools around the world. Similarly, one could create topography maps in real-time by applying a process to a digital elevation model and defining a style for the resulting contour lines.
Slashgeo: How does OpenGeo Suite 3.0 measure up to comparable proprietary solutions?
Rolando: One of our goals for the OpenGeo Suite is to solve many of the same problems as proprietary solutions, though not necessarily by providing the same tools. Our product and proprietary solutions can both publish data from a variety of enterprise databases, including Oracle Spatial and Microsoft SQL Server. Both offer web services for querying and editing features, publishing and caching map tiles, and running processes on spatial data. Both provide tools for building web mapping applications or mobile applications.
The primary differences are in approach. While proprietary solutions use server-client architecture that’s been adapted to accommodate web services, the OpenGeo Suite was built for the web from the ground up and encompasses best practices from the IT field. Rather than build a kitchen sink product with many highly-specialized features, we focus on developing a powerful base of functionality and providing tools for building applications to solve specific problems. While traditional GIS requires ‘certified’ experts with extensive training to pull data into expensive desktop tools and provide derivative data, the OpenGeo Suite exposes similarly powerful functionality on the web in ways that are integrated with the tools that IT professionals use every day.
Slashgeo: How does cloud computing factor into OpenGeo’s plans for the future?
Rolando: Many of our customers already use our software in the cloud and we offer support for those who wish to deploy OpenGeo Suite on Amazon Web Services (AWS). As cloud computing steadily gains acceptance, we will continue to ensure that our products are reliable and scalable. We’re keen to expand these offerings so stay tuned and we’ll make sure to keep you updated on what we expect to do in the future.
Slashgeo: What major trends in the geospatial technology arena do you see developing in the next 5 years, and how will those trends impact OpenGeo?
Rolando: Much like how source code is managed with distributed version control, we anticipate a future where spatial data will live in a collaborative infrastructure that is able to track data’s origin and evolution. Although spatial data is really just one aspect of the greater information technology landscape for any given enterprise, it has traditionally been siloed and forced through specialized workflows. As with other types of ‘big data’, we foresee increased difficulty storing, managing, and maintaining spatial data across enterprises. Thanks in large part to the reactions to geospatial crowd-sourcing efforts like OpenStreetMap and Ushahidi, we see a significant shift in how geospatial data is conceived of, stored, and distributed.
Adopting the distributed version control model pioneered with source code will play a critical role in alleviating the difficulties that have historically plagued users of geospatial data. A distributed version control model can better address such problems as collaborating between users or organizations, maintaining authoritative data, and enabling offline, low-bandwidth, or intermittent connectivity. Just as access to source code enables a developer to change software by adding to or changing its functionality and appearance, access to underlying geospatial data enables cartographers and analysts to fix mistakes, conduct analysis and modeling, and update datasets. We foresee true collaboration around geospatial information having profound implications for users of geospatial data and have begun investing in solutions to support them.
Slashgeo: Is OpenGeo an example of a successful business model built around open source software? If so, what can other organizations learn from this business model?
Rolando: Given how much we’ve grown in the last several years we believe that a business built around open source software can not only succeed, but thrive. The appetite for open source software is growing; companies like RedHat and JBoss have proven that an open source development model does not inhibit growth, but can often enable it.
In a recent presentation at the Texas GIS forum, Paul Ramsey delivered a compelling introduction to open source and why it’s being adopted faster than ever. Among the many takeaways was the simple fact that startups love open source. Why? Because startups cannot afford artificial limits on their growth. While the cost of computing hardware falls every year, the cost of proprietary software licenses does not. If you’re using software licensed per CPU or core, the primary driver of scaling cost is software cost, and that math does not benefit the consumer. Larger enterprises are being strangled by the immense license costs they are being forced to pay year-over-year. Today we’re all expected to do more with less. With open source functionality meeting or exceeding proprietary solutions, license costs are quickly being targeted as an obvious way to cut costs.
While open source software lacks explicit license costs, all software has maintenance, operating and other related costs. Unsupported open source software shifts these costs to the end user, which isn’t an issue if the end user or their enterprise has expertise in the relevant software and is willing to pay for support using staff time. Commercial open source provides the option to save time and reduce direct labor costs by outsourcing maintenance and support to experts. OpenGeo steps in when enterprises lack the time, resources, or internal expertise to maintain open source software. OpenGeo’s mission is to lower costs while continually enhancing the functionality of open source, and our customers value that highly. We expand on these idea in our white paper, “The Value of the OpenGeo Suite”, which outlines our model and why it’s beneficial to all parties involved.
We appreciate the participation of OpenGeo, and of Rolando, in this interview. We hope you enjoyed reading it.